Saturday, August 31, 2019

REVIEW: 'Carnival Row' - Vignette Fights for Her Culture as People Grow Suspicious of Philo's Actions in 'Unaccompanied Fae'

Amazon's Carnival Row - Episode 1.06 "Unaccompanied Fae"

The pieces of the puzzle start to come together for Philo. Vignette finds home in a place she never expected. Jonah sneaks off to see someone he shouldn't. Imogen and Agreus step out together in public.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's Carnival Row.

"Unaccompanied Fae" was written by Stephanie K. Smith and directed by Andy Goddard

It previously felt as if the show was struggling to pull its many disparate narrative threads together for some grander purpose this season. And now, things are starting to pay off in interesting ways. That doesn't necessary make them good or worth all the effort to get to this point. It also comes at a time when Vignette feels like she is being kept in a holding pattern. Her story can't really advance forward because she is much closer to her conclusion for the season than some of the other members of the ensemble. That's unfortunate because it trivializes her a little bit. Sure, it's absolutely devastating when she realizes that the sacred library she was sworn to protect has been destroyed and reassembled in the Burgue where no one has any reverence for the texts. The public just wish to fetishize an entire culture while being openly hostile to the species in the real world. They don't wish to view this exhibit as one of greater understanding of a once great civilization. Instead, they just want to be entertained by the sexual components that provide momentary satisfaction and pleasure for those bored with their lives while being privileged in this world. They don't have the same respect that Vignette does. And yet, her actions lead to her arrest. It's probably important that both her and Philo end up in custody by the conclusion of this hour. That will ensure that their paths will cross once again probably as they'll need each other in order to survive whatever is coming. Philo understands that he is the connection amongst the three victims so far. The monster is killing based on some action that each victim took in Philo's birth or childhood. It does offer some connection to the plot concerns elsewhere in the narrative. The Spurnrose household was the personal benefactor of Aisling during her pregnancy. She wouldn't speak about the baby or its father. Nor did anyone know exactly what happened to them. It just provides another clue for Philo on this personal journey. He sees firsthand how times have changed. When he was born, the people of this world were open to those different from them. And now, life is full of animosity and tribalism. Every species feels the impulse to hunker down and close ranks. They feel like they can only trust those with the same genetic makeup and background as them. It doesn't ultimately matter that Agreus shows up for this auction and flaunts his money around to great effect. People will still question his legitimacy in this world. He will continue to have to prove himself. Of course, Imogen is letting her barriers and discrimination down. That feels like the typical turn this story was always headed in because she had the obligation of continuing to be seen with him in public. Those concerns are much less vital than everything going on with Philo and Vignette. The same goes for the political aspects of this world. That corner especially feels like it is still just introducing its players and what they want. So now, Jonah has an infatuation with Sophie. Their fathers were political rivals. They may spark a new connection entirely. That could mean something eventually. Right now though, it's mostly just a distraction. It teases that something may happen at some point. But the action needs to be intensifying as the season heads towards its final act. It does so with Philo's arrest. Now, it doesn't seem like an unreasonable conclusion for his colleagues at the precinct to make. They see the connection he has with the victims. They have hatred towards him as a halfbreed who lied to them. It's not an action to deliberately delay the monstrous reveal. It has significance and may actually ensure that life will never be the same for Philo. He will have to live in the open even though he has long been able to pass off as belonging in society as a normal-looking person. That may free up some of the inner turmoil within him. And yet, the show seems to always require a gloom and dire worldview with him being tortured by the apparent disgust and inhumanity happening in the world around him all the time.